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Press Release

“Suicide Prevention: IT (Information Technology) Makes A Difference!”
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Publish Date:
September 8, 2014

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in collaboration with the State’s Suicide Prevention Council is recognizing National Suicide Prevention Week from September 7-13, 2014. This year’s theme: “Suicide Prevention: IT (Information Technology) Makes a Difference” highlights various types of technological tools adapted for use in the prevention of suicide. "Using technology to help in suicide prevention efforts just makes sense" said NH Public Health Director Dr. José Montero. "For example, current electronic medical records make the screening for suicide risk factors more efficient; the tools are embedded electronically. It makes it easier to identify risk factors so that treatment can be offered sooner and progress can be assessed."

"Technology can also help when someone is feeling at risk. There are now several mobile apps that address safety planning," said Interim Director of DHHS' Division of Community Based Care Services Diane Langley. "A safety plan is essentially a list of coping strategies and sources of support for people who are at high risk for suicide. It’s done in conjunction with a mental health clinician and is generally thought of as an important part of care. For someone going through a crisis, having immediate access to this on a cell phone can be life-saving."

Everyone can help in suicide prevention. Warning signs include:

  • Talking about death or suicide
  • Hopelessness
  • Anger
  • Increasing alcohol or drug use
  • Isolation
  • Mood changes

Recognize these signs and connect the person to help. If you or someone you know is in crisis or emotional distress, you can call the Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The line is available 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week.

For more information on suicide prevention, visit the Suicide Prevention Resource Center at www.sprc.org or the National Alliance for Mentally Ill New Hampshire at www.naminh.org/education/suicide-prevention or DHHS at www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/bchs/spc/

 
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